On an average working day, between 1000 and 2000 Americans suffer eye injuries on the job. These injuries lead to medical treatment, missed time at work, lost production time, and Workers’ Compensation claims. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that the total cost related to eye injuries in the work place is over $300 million per year.
Causes of Eye Injuries
According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey, nearly three out of every five eye injuries occur because workers are not wearing any eye protection. Insufficient eye protection, such as eye glasses without side shields, can also result in eye injury. Without adequate safety measures, small particles or objects can strike or scratch a worker’s eyes. These objects can include metal slivers, wood chips, dust, and other similar fragments that can be ejected by tools, blown by the wind, or fall from above. Sparks also constitute a leading cause of eye injury. Nearly 60 percent of all eye injuries include objects smaller than the head of a pin.
Other dangers include chemicals spills, splashes, and burns, which account for one-fifth of work-place eye injuries. Thermal burns are known to occur in some industrial working environments, as well as injuries to the eyeball or eye socket due to blunt force trauma caused by an employee walking into a dangerously placed object. Among employees working with or near welding equipment, UV radiation burns are common – sometimes referred to as welder’s flash.
Where Injuries Occur
Although work-related eye injuries can occur in any profession, the BLS found that 40 percent of all eye injuries reported occurred among craft workers like mechanics, plumbers, and carpenters. 33 percent occurred in operatives, such as assemblers, sanders and grinding machine operators. Finally, labors suffered one-fifth of the eye injuries.
Preventing Work-place Eye Injuries
In order to reduce work-related eye injuries, OSHA requires that employers provide workers with suitable eye protection. In order to be considered adequate, eye protection must be of the appropriate type for the hazard encountered in the job setting and properly fitted. Even where workers commonly wear face shields or welding helmets, the best protection is afforded when goggles are worn with face shields. Finally, employees should receive proper training and education about eye injuries, protection, and work-place safety policies. Even though the vast majority of employers surveyed by the BLS provided eye protection to employees at no cost, many unprotected workers stated they believed it was not required by the situation and nearly 40 percent received no information on where and what kind of eyewear was required.
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Shebell & Shebell Get Compensation For People Who Suffer Work-Related Eye Injuries
If you have suffered an on-the-job eye injury, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Shebell & Shebell can help. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, including Howell, Freehold, Middletown, Shrewsbury, Wall, Union Beach and Neptune. For a free consultation, call us at 732-532-2011 or contact us online today.